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Now We Are Five! - a Memory of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Ah well here goes!
The old Grand Theatre plays a very large part in my early years (you will find I go on a bit about the place!).
My dad owned the Grand and my first recollection of it was at pantomime time. Dad's Chorus Mistress said I could dance on with the other little children in the juvenile chorus. I had been in most of the dressing rooms that day and as my dad was there I had been treated to a few potato chips in one room some fudge in another and a bit of cake in another and a sip of stout ... and so on.
Being full of excitement and food I linked arms with the other children and danced on to the stage to a packed house! And as we danced along behind the Principle Boy doing her opening song I WAS SICK as I went past her! And I can still remember as it all trickled down her legs what she said 'You little s**t, wait till I get hold of you!!'. But being a true trooper she never lost the smile on her face as she carried on for the crowd who were by now in hysterics ...

Moving on 3 years. I got thrown out one night, as I was bored I went off to explore under the stage an area known as the SUMP and guess what? I found an old peddle harmonium. So I had to try it out, didn't I? And guess what, it still worked and made this awful wailing noise. The Stage Manager came down and dragged me up to back stage by my hair and sent me packing home with death threats if I ever came back!
What must have been strange to the audience was the fact that a death scene was being played out on the stage ... thought I had made a significant contribution to the mood of the piece.

Now aged 12 sitting in one of the boxes front of house and falling head over heels with the B*****l Twins as they were called as they did a tassel dance, when you're 12 that is 'gob smacking', how did they get them to change direction?? They looked so beautiful.
You forget that as you gaze through the proscenium arch to the stage you are looking at a fantasy. So when I went back stage in the interval they were standing there, old and tired in thread-bare costumes and caked make-up and they were so small and strange and one had a little round Elastoplast on her bum!!
So that was the end of that romance!


A memory shared by David Hinge on Sep 30th, 2008. Send David Hinge a message

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